How to keep unwanted winter critters away from your home

Posted at 6:57 PM, Oct 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-19 10:26:38-04

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. (WXYZ) — King James Wildlife Trapper is based in Sterling Heights and removes critters from homes humanely.

Owner James Sliwinski says this is one of the most active times of year as animals fatten up and look for winter homes. Often your home looks like a nice cozy spot to live.

Sliwinski says prevention is key and advises walking around your home and yards once a week to look for missing vents, missing fixtures near your attic and holes in your garage, porch or in your yard.

Keep lids on your trash, clean up after your pets and make sure no fruit or garden leftovers are laying around. That will make your yard less appealing to critters.

If you do have a problem with rats or chipmunks, he says poison is not the way to go. It can be ingested by other animals that aren’t causing harm and create a larger problem.

Often snap traps meant for rats, catch other critters instead – injuring them, essentially torturing them.

The Ferndale Rat Patrol Facebook page advises putting dry ice down rat holes to humanely get rid of them.

Sliwinski cautions, make sure you can verify it is a rat hole. Most other animals can be humanely relocated.

Store-bought items that send out vibrations or noises don’t seem to consistently produce results.

Moth balls work well in an attic near vents and opening to discourage visitors but can be poisonous to animals if used outside.

Sliwinski uses traps with marshmallows to capture nuisance animals and check the traps first thing every morning. He says capture and release is something only licensed professionals are legally allowed to do in Michigan.

Oakland County has seen a number of rabies cases in skunks this year. If you see a skunk behaving oddly, aggressively or acting sick, call the Oakland County Health Department or a wildlife removal company.